Past Problems, Future Regret

AUTHOR: Sylvia
ARCHIVE: Please please please email me!
DISCLAIMER: You people know the drill... These are not my characters, they are NBC, Warner Bros... yadda yadda yadda...I just borrow and return...
AUTHOR'S NOTES: I was bored. ER was on. I started to think for the first time in my life! Special THANKS to Heather for hosting!
SUMMARY: One word could have changed everything for Abby...

She laid there thinking. What if she had made different choices in her life. What if she had followed her heart? What if she had realized that everything was her fault, and tried to fix it? What if? That was the question. Now that was too late. She had nothing pulling her back, controlling her life. Maggie had died. Eric had committed suicide when he was only thirty years old. Erik's death had destroyed her. She didn't think she could have gone on. But she did. And brought all her pain and misery on the one person she loved, and because of that, he left her. She told him to leave her. He didn't deserve her misery, her depression, her moods. He deserved a young, gorgeous girl, the pride of some well-to-do family to be his little poster wife. To have his perfect, normal kids. She could never have done that for him. But every day she thought about him, and she wondered if he ever again thought about her. She was alone in this world. No family, no friends, not even a pet. Nothing. Nobody. She wished she could have made different choices throughout her life. Strived to be happy, tried to be normal. Now she was on her deathbed, in the hospital she had spent so many years of her life in. She was dying of cancer, of alcoholism, of loneliness. She knew her hour would come soon. She would die alone and forgotten. They would take her body and burn it. Throw it on some beach, even if it reached that far. She wouldn't have a tombstone, or a funeral, or a wake. No one would ever say, "Abby, she will be missed greatly. She was a wonderful person, a loving wife and mother, and a best friend." No. No one would ever say that about her. The only person she could picture saying something about her was Carter. And he wouldn't even know. They had stopped talking after the break up. He found a girlfriend, who turned into his wife. He opened his private practice, which stemmed out into a hospital. He had 4 gorgeous kids. She had never seen them. But she knew. She knew they were perfect. Carter was perfect, and she wished she hadn't aborted his first. She was scared and alone. Everything wasn't going the right way. Eric was bipolar. Her mom wouldn't give up hope. It came at such bad timing: the proposal, the baby, the funeral. Too much, too fast. And somehow they had drifted apart. She was so selfish. She felt the warm drops flow down her face, the salty taste of tears lap over her lips. It was always between tears and alcohol. It always ended up being both. She looked at the ceiling, following the pattern, counting the holes, and listening to the machines beep around her. Her oxygen level was extremely low, and intubation was not an option. She wouldn't live to have the tube removed. She closed her eyes. Tried to remember the taste of Carter's sweet lips on hers. His body under the covers at night, he was always so caring, so gentle. His warm, comforting hands, always slipping into hers at the right time. She wished he could be there. But he wouldn't be. She hurt him so badly. Tore his heart out, and threw it away. She didn't even realize the words coming out of her mouth. "Carter, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I shouldn't have done that to you. You were the best thing in my life, no one else compared. You were always there, even when I didn't want you. I'm sorry. I love you." She couldn't recognize her own hoarse voice. It took so much energy to even say that. She felt her grasps on life letting go. She slowly felt her mind let go, and her body stop hurting. This was it. The end. Carter was too late. She was gone.

~*~ Many Years Earlier...~*~

"I want to marry you!!"
"You're proposing?"
"You're crazy."
"I'll fit right in."
"No, Carter. I can't do this!"
"Why? Abby, I love you! I promise everything's going to be okay!"
"Because I can't!"
"Why are you letting your mother control your life?!?! You need to let go! Abby, I can't live without you! I want to wake up in 60 years, and still have you by my side. I want you to have my children! My family!"
"It's a little too late for the children speech, don't you think?"
"What are you talking about?"
"I was six weeks pregnant."
"Oh Abby! That's wonderful!!"
"You didn't...?"
"I'm sorry Carter, just leave me alone. You don't deserve me. Go find yourself someone worthy of your love."
"But you are Abby!"
"No I'm not. Leave. I never want to see you again. I don't love you..."

Those words pierced her heart more than they probably did his. But it was the only way to get rid of him. He didn't deserve her. She was a low-down piece of shit. She heard his family talking, his mother, his father, his grandmother. They didn't approve. She tried to fool herself into thinking they would fall in love with her, but they never would. Carter was smiling less and less everyday. She knew it had something to do with her. All her problems were always thrown at him. Every time he tried to make her smile, it didn't work. She felt like if she was going to stay with him, he would never be happy. She did that to people. She did it to Richard. To Luka. She destroyed both their lives, and now Carter was to add to the list. But at least they were all strong, had enough courage to move on. Carter also had that courage, but she knew she would never forget Carter. She would have to force herself to move on.

~*~ Few weeks later... ~*~

Everything was taken care of by him. He had resigned, and a few days later, opened a small practice. Every goddamn paper had pictures. Only a week later, had he found someone else. Someone from the Boyle family. Her name was Angelina Elizabeth Boyle. Her father owned the biggest chain of stores in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles. She was beautiful, young, and energetic. Every picture she saw, he was always smiling with her. Every picture she saw, she cried. What was she supposed to do now? Move on without apologizing? Try to forget. She had to see him one last time. She had to say good-bye.

~*~ A few days later... ~*~

She walked up the perfect granite steps into the Medical Offices of John Truman Carter, III. It screamed in elegance, and the desk clerk looked at her if she was a bum. She was a beggar, begging for Carter's forgiveness. Much to the dismay of the prissy desk clerk, she called Carter. He walked out, looking all of a million dollars. He was wearing an Armani suit, and for the first time, saw him dressed up as he should be. She saw him expression change from smiling to pain. His deep chocolate brown eyes screamed from hurt and anger. "Abby, what are you doing here?" For someone so smart, could he be any stupider? "Carter, I think we need to talk..." The desk clerk looked at her, then at him. He slowly motioned her into his office. The office was exquisite. It was all hardwood, and leather. Glass and porcelain. Probably worth more than she could ever earn in a lifetime. As soon as she heard him close the door, and the lock snap, she turned to face him. "Abby, we have nothing to talk about. You told me to go. I left. I could see that I was hurting you more every day. And I couldn't do that to you. Or me." She looked at him. His eyes never lied. And she could feel her heart stop beating, her tears flowing. "Carter, I never meant for you to leave. I never meant for anything like this to happen. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry!" She threw herself onto him, yet he stood there, stiff and cold. He pushed her away, prying her off. "Abby, it's too late for apologizes now. I'm getting my life together. Good-bye Abby, Ms. Lockhart. I loved you. But now, a have a different view of the world." It stabbed Abby more than a thousand knives ever could. "Carter... Please..." She hoped he would turn around, forgive her. "Please see yourself out the door, I have a patient, and a luncheon date with my new fiancée. Good-bye." He walked out. That was it. All she could do was walk out the door, try to keep her head up, and the tears from falling until she got home. What would she do when she got home? Every room held special memories for her. She finally reached her bedroom, the room where they had spent endless nights, together in each other's arms. She laid down. She could still smell Carter's cologne, the one that drove her crazy. His scent was forever in her memory. Now everything was gone. She changed into her sweats, and starring into the mirror, she saw the dark bags under her eyes. The too pale skin. Her cheekbones, starting to highlight because of her weight loss. The scar right across her stomach, a memory to last her forever she thought. She walked into the kitchen, opened the first cabinet to her left. Grabbed the bottle of tequila she had bought the night she found out about Eric. The night Carter wasn't there. The same exact bottle he questioned her about only a weeks ago. This was her knew life. The bottle, the nicotine, the hospital. Her usual rounds before Carter. She would go to work, get home, get drunk, and go to sleep. Wake up in the morning with an enormous headache, take two Advil, and go back to work. The cycle would repeat over and over. This was how it would always be. No Carter to stop her. No Luka to protect her. No Richard to make her laugh. She was alone. Forgotten. Ignored. Forever.

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